fifth commandment

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment” is the thirteenth episode of the second season of The Simpsons, which aired on February 7, 1991. This episode tells the story of Homer stealing cable and Lisa's resulting moral conflict. It is one of a number of Simpsons episodes that have won an Emmy.


After seeing Ned Flanders reject an offer from a man to get an illegal cable hook-up, Homer chases after the cable man and wants to be hooked up for free. He likes the new channels he gets, which the family watches with him. Lisa, however, feels suspicious about this. Following a Sunday School lesson regarding the existence and nature of Hell, Lisa becomes terrified of violations of the 10 Commandments, the adherence to which she is assured will keep one’s soul safe from Hell. She fears that because Homer violated the Eighth Commandment, he will go to Hell when he dies. She additionally opposes other examples of common and harmless thievery all around her. She convinces Marge to pay the cost on two grapes in a grocery store which she has tested but not paid for. Lisa pays a visit to Reverend Lovejoy at church, where he suggests that Lisa cannot turn her father in to the police (since she must continue to Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother, according to the Fifth Commandment), but he instead encourages Lisa to not watch anything on Homer’s cable hook-up, setting a good example.

Homer invites his friends from the power plant, as well as Apu, Moe, and Barney to watch “The Bout to Knock the Other Guy Out!” on pay-per-view. (Mr. Burns and Waylon Smithers show up as well). Lisa tries to boycott the party, and this results in Homer making her stay outside. Meanwhile, Bart has set up posters on the back door for his showing of an adult channel for 50 cents (although his age requirement is eight), but he is caught a few seconds later by Homer. Homer’s conscience eventually bothers him, more in the form of his daughter’s distress than a moral objection to stealing cable, and he gives in to Lisa’s protests, begrudgingly choosing not to watch the last minutes of the fight. Marge, Maggie, and Bart (otherwise reluctant) join them as well. He sits the fight out and when everyone leaves, he hesitantly (and unprofessionally) cuts his cable hook-up, despite Bart’s objection. Homer somehow accidentally cuts the electricity to all of Springfield in his random wire-cutting before finally cutting the cable wire.

Debut appearances

Characters making a first appearance in this episode are:

Cultural references

The scene in which Homer is knocked up by the truck of the cable man resembles a famous scene of the Hitchcock's film North by Northwest Drederick Tatum is obviously based on Mike Tyson, his manager looks exactly like Don King, and his opponent resembles Evander Holyfield. In a joke about Mr. Burns’ age, he recalls watching a bare-knuckle match between Gentleman Jim Corbett and “an Eskimo fellow.” Corbett would later be referenced as “Gentleman Jim Simpson” in a deleted scene in “The Homer They Fall” on the Season 8 DVD boxset. The movies that are watched on the new cable are Jaws, Die Hard, and Wall Street.


This episode was The Simpsons submission to the 1991 Emmys. It won the award, the second for The Simpsons.


External links

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